Future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri has announced his official retirement from the NFL (Fox News). The 48-year old walks away as the NFL’s all time scoring leader with 2,673 points. Vinatieri made the announcement on the “Pat McAfee Show” (Vinatieri was teammates with McAfee on the Colts) a few days ago. Here are six things you may not have known about arguably the greatest kicker in NFL history.
Vinatieri Made 3 Pro Bowls and 3 All-Pro Teams
The Yankton, South Dakota native was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2002, 2004, and 2014. Vinatieri was also given First-Team All-Pro Honors in those same years. It is a bit shocking that Vinatieri didn’t make more Pro Bowls, as he was the best kicker in the league for over two decades!
He Holds the NFL Record for Most Career Field Goals
Vinatieri made 599 field goals in his NFL career. 336 of them came as a member of the Indianapolis Colts and 263 came during his run with the New England Patriots. His record for career field goals is unlikely to ever be broken.
Vinatieri is a Four-Time Super Bowl Champion
The 6-foot 212 pounder won three of his Super Bowl rings during the Patriots dominant dynasty. Vinatieri won two of those Super Bowls (XXXVI and XXXVII) with game winning field goals. He also helped Peyton Manning bring a title to Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLI.
He Never Got Drafted
Like a lot of NFL kickers, Vinatieri was passed up on draft day. He played his college ball at South Dakota State and did not get much attention from NFL scouts. The Patriots and legendary coach Bill Parcells signed Vinatieri as a free agent in 1996.
Many folks thought that Vinatieri would be cut from the Pats because they already had a proven veteran kicker in Matt Bahr. Bahr had helped Parcells win a Super Bowl with the New York Giants back in 1990. Surprisingly, Vinatieri ended up winning the starting kicker job because he was better at kicking off than Bahr.
He Started His Pro Career in NFL Europe
After going undrafted in 1995, Vinatieri tried out for the Amsterdam Admirals of the World League of American Football (eventually renamed as NFL Europe). He made the team as a kicker and a punter. He helped lead the Admirals to a 9-1 record and was later inducted into their Ring of Honor.
Vinatieri Played 24 Seasons in the NFL
It is very rare to see an NFL player last for 20 plus years. Vinatieri lasted that long in the league because of his pinpoint kicking accuracy. Perhaps no kicker in NFL history was as reliable as Vinatieri.
Not only does he hold the NFL record for most career field goals, Vinatieri retires with the most points scored in postseason history. He also made more overtime field goals than any other kicker. Being the record holder in all of these categories make Vinatieri a lock to be a first ballot Hall of Famer in Canton.